February 2, 2010

Making new friends

Rupert, a would-be friend

Well, we’re back in Santa Rosalia without mishap in our travels. In San Diego at Junior Birdman’s house we discovered that Lupita likes cats. While she was napping in my lap, the Manx cat Rupert was overcome with curiosity and jumped up on the couch to get a better idea of what this intruder was. Lupita woke up immediately to the cat breath on her face and tried to French kiss Ru who had almost accepted her until then. Cole, the outside cat could see Lupita through the sliding glass doors. He was enraged and wanted to come in and kill her. When Ru went outdoors you could see him whispering in Cole's ear that it wasn’t worth it to be so hostile and to lighten up. Cole kept darting annoyed glances over his shoulder as the two of them walked away into the garden together.
Cole, a fiesty dog hater
Getting ready for our departure in San Diego we read Baja Insider’s road reports that the highway had been damaged in several places in Baja due to the heavy rains last week. We had some trepidations starting out. And though it’s true that the road had been cut by the storms, the bad places had been repaired or detours made. At San Vicente de Ferrer, south of Santo Tomas, traffic was normal though the road had been undercut. Just past that we saw extensive low lying areas where L.A. Cetto’s vineyards were standing in about 3 inches of water. I imagine those vines will not survive with that much water covering their roots for such a long period. Too sad. Between there and Colonet three washouts had occurred but all were repaired, temporarily, and traffic moved along fine. At San Vicente Guerrero, north of San Quintin there was a major washout of the ramp to the bridge and it looked like the bridge foundations were damaged as well. Traffic bypassed into the arroyo and moved normally. At El Rosario there was another major washout of the ramp to the bridge and traffic was diverted into the arroyo, but again was moving well. They are still constructing the southern part of that bridge. A lot of water had come down but no further problems were encountered on the way to Cataviña where we spent the night. We saw a lot of large ‘standing lakes’ of rainwater in the desert's flat areas all the way to Guerrero Negro where we crossed over of the peninsula.

Newly formed lakes in the desert
As we drove along we continued to wonder how Lupita would adjust to our other animals. After reading some internet advice, we decided to leave Lupita up in Casa Abeja (our here-to-date unoccupied house that we plan move into this month). Then we both went to Casa Boleo and spent a long time greeting Sweet Pickle and the cats before bringing Dash up to Casa Abeja to meet to Lupita. The minute Lupita saw Dash, she screamed and barked in a frenzy as though her life were about to end, and she was going to be eaten. Dash just stood around looking embarrassed. After about 5 minutes of this she finally realized she wasn’t going to die after all. We took Lupita (in her crate) and Dash back to Casa Boleo and set the crate on the living room floor so the cats could sort it out too. Frida wasn’t interested but Winnie was quite curious. After 5 minutes of crate time we let her out and Winnie kept coming over to her to sniff her. Frida was terrified of Lupita and hissed and growled at her. Every time Dash thought a cat/puppy altercation was going to occur he would step between the cats and Lupita. He was amazing.

Last night Dash lay snoring on the floor, the cats slept on top of me, and Lupita stayed under the covers near Esperando. I had worried that Frida who likes to chase hands that are under the covers might pounce her, but she knew exactly where that puppy was under the covers and kept her distance. At 3 a.m. out Lupita popped and crawled out to sit on my face, quite concerned about the sounds the seagulls were making in the harbor. Did you know they squall and squabble all night long? I thought birds went to sleep at night until we moved here. The thing about Lupita is that if she is worried by a noise you can’t just say, ‘oh, it’s fine, go back to bed.” No, she has to figure it out for herself and that can take hours. Frida was about a foot away from the emerged Lupita, and was handling that face-sitting better than I was until Lupita decided she needed to bark and growl at the seagulls right in front of Frida. So Frida left but came back later.

This morning Winnie is still completely fascinated with Lupita. They have touched noses multiple times except Lupita always blows it with the French kiss thing and when Winnie tries to leave Frida wants to smell his butt. He really thinks she is rude, but just bats her away gently, although as she gets more a aggressive his bats become more hard. Frida now ignores Lupita the best she can, but is no longer a serious danger. And Dash is becoming jealous. Fortunately, Dash has a lot of other admirers in the house to make a fuss over him and get him through this. As long as we can minimize toy throwing arguments and food robbery attempts we will probably make a go of it.

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